PTTS Tutoring Initiative

PTTS Hebrew School
One-on-One Tutoring,
In-person or on Zoom

Shearith Israel’s distinguished Polonies Talmud Torah School (PTTS), is now in its third year of offering highly subsidized one-on-one tutoring customized to your child’s needs and schedule for the upcoming 2023-2024 semester. 

PTTS is connecting families with qualified educators who can facilitate learning that is customized to your child’s age and schedule. Whether your priority is Hebrew language skills, Jewish culture, familiarity with prayer services, Western Sephardic tradition, and, of course, positive engagement with Jewish life and community, you choose which tutor you’d like to work with based on your own considerations. While not a substitute for Shearith Israel’s bar/bat mitzvah preparation, this program can complement formal bar/bat mitzvah training, by focusing on areas other than reading from the torah for a particular ceremony.       

Quality private tutoring is very expensive, running considerably more than $100/hour. Thanks to a PTTS scholarship fund, we are able to offer this service at a greatly reduced rate. No matter which tutor you choose, you pay a one-time administrative fee* and then pay the tutor a PTTS “co-payment” of $60 per session for members, $75 per session for non-members; we’ll pay him/her the rest.

Who is eligible: Shearith Israel members and non-members, although the subsidy is greater for members.  Additional financial assistance may be available for families in need.      .  

Who are the tutors: Experienced teaching Judaic studies to young learners, they vary in specific areas of expertise and teaching styles. These are independent tutors who are known to us but not employed by Congregation Shearith Israel. Scroll down to view our tutors and their bios.

Interested in being a PTTS tutor? Send a cover note and your resume to

This program is highly subsidized and we are grateful for our generous sponsors.  Interested in supporting the PTTS Scholarship Fund? Please donate here. 

Register now!

*A one-time administrative fee of $50 for members and $100 for non-members will be charged with registration.

Added benefits: All participants in the PTTS Tutoring Program will also be invited to take part in Shearith Israel’s youth programming:

  • Parent/Child Learning with Shearith Israel clergy on Saturday nights in the winter, and Sunday Brunch and Learns in the spring
  • Junior Congregation – in-person weekly on Shabbat and holidays
  • Holiday Workshops & Events Hanukkah, Purim, Lag La’Omer, Passover, and Shabuot
  • Hesed Events – such as Cemetery Clean-Up, Thanksgiving Hunger Alleviation Program, and more
  • Social Programs – including family picnics, museum trips, and more

Our Tutors

Meira Gotesdyner

Student Age Range:  Prefer working with middle school and up, although I can work with all ages starting from Kindergarten.

Subjects: Teaching Hebrew as a second language, Jewish Literacy, text, history and anything that is connected to our Jewish heritage

Virtual or in-person: Virtual (resides in CA)


Read more about Meira here.

Josh Lipson

Student Age Range: All ages

Subjects: Hebrew language (including but not limited to bar mitzvah Hebrew), Hebrew Bible, Jewish literacy.

Virtual or in-person: Either in person or virtual


Read more about Josh and other tutors here.

Janine Sherr

Student Age Range: Grades 1-5

Subjects: Hebrew reading and Chumash skills

Virtual or in-person: Either in person or virtual


Read more about Janine here.

Yehudit Robinson

Student Age Range: Elementary and middle school

Subjects: Customizes the curriculum based on student interests, such as bible study, Hebrew reading, Hebrew language, Shearith Israel prayers, Jewish holidays, b’nei mitzvah preparation, etc.

Virtual or in-person: Available for zoom sessions Mondays-Thursdays

Yehudit previously taught at PTTS and prepared teen boys to lead services, teen girls to chant Shir HaShirim, and students for b’nei mitzvah services.



Read more about Yehudit and other tutors here.

Lauren Schneider

Student Age Range: Grades K – 5

Subjects: Comfortable teaching all Judiac subjects, with a specialty in the siddur and Hebrew literacy

Virtual or in-person: Virtual

Lauren taught at PTTS from 2009-2014 and was the PTTS Hebrew Reading Specialist during the 2017-2018 year.


Read more about Lauren and other tutors here.

David Selis

Student Age Range: All ages, although prefer working with students in 5th grade and up

Subjects: Hebrew Language (modern, Biblical, liturgical and rabbinic Hebrew) Jewish Literacy, Bible, Liturgy/Siddur, lifecycle & Customs, and Jewish history across all periods. Can also teach Jewish art and culture. including the opportunity to handle rare original artifacts and view relevant objects in local museums and libraries (COVID permitting).

Virtual or in-person: Either in person or virtual


Read more about David here.

Esther Starobinets

Student Age Range:  Mainly Middle School and High School students, though she has worked with younger ages as well.

Subjects: Jewish Literacy, Bible, Jewish History, Bar/Bat Mitzvah prep (not in the S&P tradition) for leading prayers, Torah reading, and speech writing

Virtual or in-person: Both



Read more about Esther and other tutors here.

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